Diving deep

Preparation and practice before the dive lead to better outcomes

Are we envisioning play and the joy of discovery, or work and struggle?

Our ability to go deep depends on our preparation. In the moment before the dive, of course, it matters how much energy we are expecting to need. It also matters how and how often we practice diving in, in the months and years leading up to the moment of this, today’s dive.

That’s not just metaphor. If we practice, expecting effort, then we will be prepared for conversations that require effort. If we practice mentally preparing, setting our intentions and imagining the different ways a conversation might go, that long term practice prepares us for this, today’s dive.

Too many of us have lost touch with the fire of conversation. When we talk together, it is rarely with depth. For the most part, we see our conversations as either opportunities to trade information or arenas in which to win points. Difficulties that might otherwise be resolved or even dissolved persist. And often we find we simply do not have the wherewithal to genuinely consider new possibilities, new options.

~ William Isaacs, Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together

It matters why we think we are diving into a conversation. Are we envisioning play and the joy of discovery, or work and struggle? We should get used to expecting all of that—the full range of what conversations can be. Then we can dive in expecting play and joy, and not drown if we encounter work and struggle.

What can you do differently to prepare for your next dive?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *